Monastrell is the star red grape of the eastern coast of Spain, a sun-loving grape which needs little water. Known as Monastrell in most of Spain, it is called Mourvèdre in France, and bears the name Mataro in Australia, Portugal and the DO Alella appellation in Catalonia in honour of the coastal town of Mataro where winemaking was once an important part of the local economy. It ripens well in warm areas of France, Australia, California and especially in Murcian and Valencian wine appellations such as DO Bullas, DO Jumilla, or DO Yecla, and DO Alicante in the region of Valencia. Depending on the soil kind and the vineyard's altitude and orientation, Monastrell wines can vary from fresher wines to more intense ones, although they always offer charming aromas of blackberries and cranberries, as well as a seductive sweet and fruity sensation.
Monastrell vines have compact cone-shaped bunches of small thick-skinned, intense blueish-black grapes. As a result, wines also have an intense colour and a significant level of tannicity. The grape must produces plenty of sugar which ferments to give the wines a high content of alcohol. On the other hand, it is not too acidic meaning relatively cool vineyard locations will produce a more elegant wine with a lower level of alcohol. Their good structure makes them ideal wines for laying down.
It mixes very well with grapes like Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, and especially with Grenache and Syrah, forming the world famous GSM blend.